NARUC resolutions focus on innovation, access to broadband service

Published on July 21, 2017 by Kevin Randolph

The National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners (NARUC) board of directors passed three substantive resolutions and 10 honorary resolutions at NARUC’s Summer Policy Summit held this week in San Diego, California.

One resolution urges Congress to provide sufficient funding to the National Laboratories, which conducts research into advanced energy solutions.

A second resolution requests adequate funding for the Universal Service for High-Cost Areas Program, which aims to increase access to affordable voice and broadband service to rural, insular and high-cost areas.

The third finalized and approved draft resolution asks the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to increase state and local representation on the Broadband Deployment Advisory Committee in order to balance out industry representation. The committee works to identify regulatory burdens that are limiting access to high-speed Internet infrastructure investment.

A fourth resolution to support the nuclear waste program was withdrawn.

The board also passed 10 honorary resolutions, including one recognizing former NARUC President Colette Honorable, who recently resigned from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), for her contributions to utility regulation and the energy sector.

At Tuesday’s general session Illinois Commerce Commission Chairman Brien Sheahan announced a new award program for innovation in regulatory policy, the utility industry and other areas. Winners of the award will be announced at NARUC’s annual meeting in Baltimore in November.

The summit general sessions focused on innovation in energy and utilities, America’s infrastructure and employment of veterans in the utility workforce.

“NARUC is unparalleled in its ability to facilitate meaningful conversations among regulators and stakeholders, as well as provide exceptional utility and telecom educational opportunities,” NARUC President Robert F. Powelson said.